There are many different ceremonies that I enjoy partaking in. After all they all celebrate some vital point in one's life. But one of the ceremonies that I enjoy is the marriage ceremony(vivaha). Marriage marks the beginning of life as a householder. There are many different denominational variations, but most features are mostly the same. In this ceremony the bridegroom is welcomed, they exchange flower garlands, and the daughter is given in marriage.The marriage becomes confirmed by the tying of the sacred thread called Mangalsutra around the brides neck by the groom. The marriage can also be confirmed by the bride and groom walking 7 steps (septi padi) around the sacred fire. At night we then show the bride and groom the Pole Star. Then of course of the couple is blessed by the elders, and presented with gifts. It is a very memorable chapter in one's life.
Following marriage is the birth of a child. This ceremony is called Jatakarma. It welcomes the child in to the world. Once the child has been born, the father place a small amount of ghee,which is a type of butter, and honey on the baby's tongue and whispers the name of God in his/her ear. Then comes the name giving ceremony. After the child has been in the world for 11 days the parents partake in Namakarana. They dress the baby up beautifully in new clothes. The family astrologer then tells the family of the child's horoscope. The child's name is given based on the position of the moon in the birth chart. Then there is another huge feast that accompanies this ceremony.
It is so many different ceremonies that are performed by priest it is hard to describe every single one of them. But every single one of them has a very sacred and dear meaning. I am glad I chose this path in order to bless others throughout their different walks of life.